Monday, July 25, 2016

Social Media and Your Kids - Tips to Help YOU

As a parent of a tween/teen you will get mixed feedback on social media and your kids! None of it really makes sense, but you are expected to be an expert.  

The first time I realized my child's social media was out of my control was when her school set her
up with a Google account "for school purposes only" but being a veteran social media user - I knew that was just the beginning of her online thumbprint.

Social media is scary - I know - when I was 16 the biggest thing we had going was email - now I am trying to raise children in a society that speaks 140 characters or less, followed by #coding aka #hashtags that increases our presence.  

I sat down this weekend and listened to another teen/tween's mom pour her soul out to me about her fears of social media - and no worries Momma, I have those same fears.  

It is no lie social media is dangerous, but it can also be productive - so while it seems like the devil working (and it can be) there are ways to help prevent the hellstorm (yes I spelled that I wanted it) before it happens. 

What YOU can do as a parent:

Know the law, we do not have to go to law school to know we are responsible for what our child does online, in text, over the phone, and in person.  We as parents sign an invisible contact that we will and are responsible for our children - that includes their online presence.  

Know what accounts your kids have - now here is the trick since you are "legally" responsible for them (even if you only have joint custody) you have the right and really the OBLIGATION to know what they are doing online.  They cannot tell you that it is none of your business - unless of course they plan to get a job, pay rent, buy food, pay for that electronic device, and....pay an attorney to help them become legally emancipated.  Don't worry they won't and any sane judge won't grant it.  

Make them give you all passwords, see in my house I am the password dictator - if I don't know your password, pin code, ...yada yada yada - I will pull the plug, all the way down to the charger cord. You will follow my rules or you will not enjoy the simple pleasures. 

Know your kids can lie online , kids can lie to you even on social media - if you click over to Becky Davenport on Facebook you will see I lie to people daily, it shows I have 0 friends.  I am an adult and I believe the people that follow me deserve privacy so I hide my friends - so if I can lie, so can your kids can too!  

Know the privacy settings on your kid's page, realize some may have them full public (not good) and some may have them private, but block you from seeing individual post.  Yes you should stress about this!  If you can't see everything they are posting - then they should not be posting.  

Learn a little online slang, I get tickled at my father-in-law who has no clue what a #TomSelfie is - that is because he does not know what a hashtag is and really has no need to as he is 80 and just fabulous! However, as a parent you should know what hashtags are and understand their meanings.  I once saw a bright young girl post the tag #420allthetime - she had no clue that meant she was thought smoking pot all day was cool - nor did her parents.  This could lead to job loss, career failures, and loss of friends all because of lack of social media education. 

Know how to DELETE and where to delete, there are times you just need to wipe clean and say my bad or their bad!  DELETE is okay. 

Know what apps have visual memory and what apps have virtual memory; oh the love of Snapchat - until some man realized that naked selfie he just sent is saved on some virtual server - and if his wife is smart enough she can recover it - remember nothing is truly secret.

Know their locations settings, do not and I repeat again DO NOT let your kids "check in" places - until they have left.   As a blogger I get paid to say I am at places, but my safety is sooooo much more important than the someone making money.  It is okay to say you were at a place, but wait until you are gone before doing it.  Also know that once you write a review of place or check-in at that location people can read your comment and see your profile - so this could lead to strangers seeing your information/page.

Know their friends, I have this shameful embarrassing story that happened to me (a social media expert) several years ago.  I was popular online, I then lived in a semi-small community, and lots of people knew who I was.  This young man with no profile picture began messaging me and liking my photos - I was in the middle of going through a divorce so the kind words were refreshing.  This young man who I had no clue what he looked like said to me "I saw you tonight - you had your hands full at homecomers" ....I was a bit creeped out and kind of snapped on the young man.  A few minutes later the young man came back and asked me to let him explain.  I gave him a few minutes of my time - only to find out I did know the young man - except he was not a young man he was an older married man in my then community that did a lot of volunteer work - he knew me from the gym, but was too scared to come up in person and talk to me, so had created a fake online profile to talk to me.- needless to say he should have been scared considering he was married.
However, if this could happen to me as an adult, imagine what could happen your child.

Know how to track your child's social media behavior.  When I said there is an app designed to see everything your child does online - other parent's jaw hit the floor.  Well pick it up, because there is lots of apps that help track their online thumbprint.  You can google social media tracking for parent's and come up with a list of good ones - the best I have seen in use is Socially Active  - it gives a pretty good run down of their virtual presence.

Do I think as a parent you should delete all their accounts, yell and scream at them for the social media mess ups?  NO - I think we have to remember they are kid's their brains are not fully developed and we are parents that know nothing - I know I already here those words.  As a parent what you can do is educate yourself, download the apps, find out what kids are doing, and get up in your kid's business! 


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Why you should go to Old Settlers Day in Pulaski County, Missouri

(Disclosure:  Parts of my visit to Pulaski County, Missouri were sponsored, however, all thoughts are my own - I cannot be bought) 

Old Settlers Day in Pulaski County Missouri is more than a festival; it is a community event.   We were outsiders - or were we?  Who could tell as the tiny town of Waynesville, Missouri filled with visitors from all over the world.

The streets smelled like funnel cakes and sno-cones, at distance you could here the sounds of the reenactment, and in front of me I could see the faces of giggling kids running circles around the community's free splash park.

The 36th Annual Old Settlers Day  to be held the weekend of July 30th - you will find the event to be a community celebration of what Pulaski County was, what Pulaski County is, and what Pulaski County will be.  

Here is why you should go


Eat Some Yummy Food



Enjoy Some Refreshing Fun



Enjoy the Past




Feel Community Love



Meet Unique People


Learn to Barter and Trade








Monday, July 18, 2016

My Daughter's Servant Heart

Oh how I wish I had her desire to serve - her being my daughter.

Today as I was feeling a bit burnt at work at then I received this text from the wild hearted Lesse:

Mom, Friday I'll assemble and deliver appreciation trays- Saturday I'll do treat stand and car wash Saturday 9am to 1pm then assemble hygiene bags 1-2 then hand out water bottles, juice boxes and cookies at the park 6- 7:30

If I can't do that Friday I'll assemble grocery bags
I probably could be able deliver grocery bags I have a four hour gap so; I'll do assemble grocery bags. 




Lesse was talking about the upcoming Freedom Weekend at our church - were our church spends the entire weekend serving the community,

She is so full of excitement for the weekend - that it takes your breath away.  

The impressive part was not that she wanted to serve - or at least for me was not - the impressive part was that she spent most of her morning scheduling out her entire weekend - so she could have the maximum amount of time to serving the community.

Her enthusiasm and excitement to serve is contagious and beautiful.

Oh to have the innocent love of a child!   




Monday, June 20, 2016

Satan Kicked into Overtime...

Yesterday was a day of high and lows, the kind of days that takes you from smiles to tears in a moments notice.

My day started off wonderful, I headed to church an hour early with my husband, he attends music
this is not my Dad's tractor
practice and normally I sleep in, but I got up early and went yesterday.  The music was beautiful - we have some amazing talent in our church - oh and they sang my favorite song "How Great Thou Art" - double score.

I later attended small groups, which has become one of my favorite times of the week.  I use to despise attending Sunday School, until I met a group of folks as eager to learn about God as I am.  We talked, we laughed, and we cried......okay only one of us cried - and that was not me.

Church just kept getting better throughout the morning - things that I have been praying about for nearly a year is coming about.  Needless to say I was on a God High!

Then.....


This part that I am going to share is very personal, but I am sharing it to show you how fast Satan can pull you down.

I had baked the most beautiful blackberry pie for my Dad and was excited about going to see him. My new schedule and married life has limited the amount of time I been able to go see him - I work alot, go to school, have two kids, a husband, and you know how fast life goes by.

Before I even got to the truck with the pie - I had made a horrible mess of it.  I was feeling horrible - Blackberry Pie is kind of my dad and I's thing.

I managed to salvage the pie and make it to my Dad's - I walked in sat down and something was not right - I could feel it all over.

Suddenly....

My Dad said "I thought you were going to come out and put up hay" bewildered by his statement I replied "what are you talking about, you know if you need help all you have to do is call" and he said "no I don't need help, but you put it on Facebook that you were busy putting up hay for your Dad" 

I sat their rethinking my Facebook post for the past 3 months, I remember sharing a photo of the tractor on Facebook, but that was just a pretty shot.  

I asked my Dad "who told you that" knowing my father does not even touch a computer let alone use Facebook....he explained that I had become a front porch joke and someone had even talked about having lemonade and lawnchair out there to watch me put up hay. 

I was mad, anger came over me like no other!  

First of all someone or some people had lied to my Dad, knowing he had no way of looking on my Facebook, they enjoyed smearing my name to him.  

At that moment they looked better to him than I did - my Dad knew I was not going to put up hay (unless asked), but he didn't know what I put on Facebook. 

I slowly got up from my chair and went to the kitchen to get a drink and CRY - I couldn't hold back the alligator tears from rolling down my face.  

 I have never been a "good" daughter towards my Dad (I gave him a run for his money), but my Dad has always been proud of me - until he thought I was lying publicly about helping him. 

The Emotions Flared...

Knowing that I was now an emotionally defeated wreck my husband came to pull me back to reality and assure me this was Satan working against me, because I had been working for God.  

About the moment we were embraced  in a hug and I had my tears under control I could hear my Dad's change in his pocket clinking as he decided he wanted some of that pie.  

The rest of our visit was at odds as I couldn't even grasp that someone would go so low to lie to look better than me - lord knows I mess up enough on my own. 

Late Last Night...

As I laid in bed thinking and wrestling with this the verse Romans 8:31 came to mind 

"What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?" 

Here on Earth, there will be plenty of people who disappoint us and hurt us both intentionally and unintentionally - that is Satan at his finest.  Who is against us?  Satan is against us and those who are under his control.  

What is here on Earth only matters if it keeps you from getting to Heaven, so what people are saying about you - doesn't matter - for in Heaven only God will place his judgement.   

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Rebirth through Baptism...I felt PEACE

Two absolutely beautiful things happened tonight, two things I and many others have prayed about for a long long time.

Today was one of the proudest parent moments in my life (only one - because this only involved
Lesse being Baptized
Lesse).  Tonight my oldest child Lesse made the commitment that her life no longer belongs to her - it belongs to God.  After lots of discussion, a year of deciding (I made her wait so she understood), and the comfort that Momma was going to be there also, Lesse made the decision to be baptized!   My heart fluttered as I watched be dunked under the water and rise again.  Bless you Lesse - with God you will do GREAT things!

Now I said two - a little over a year ago, I admitted here on my blog that God has been speaking to me.  Through this you all have watched me grow, you have watched me turn my life completely back to God, and you watched God bring Trey into our lives.  All GOOD GOOD things.....

BUT, there was still something missing, there was this void, this unknowing, this feeling that something was not right.  I knew I was living right, but I didn't feel equal to or as confident as other christians.

A little over a year ago I was having a conversation on the phone with a former schoolmate - that person was talking about baptism and how important it was.  I was baptized, I remember standing on the stage of New Bethel Church and having the water sprinkled over my head by the Pastor - so I blew off his conversation and went on my way.

Months led on and baptism came up again - this time from Trey.  The sharp tongue kind of person I am, told him whats what and went on my merry way.   Trey never pushed the issue again, but God did.

Again few months later there was this burning sensation in the bottom of my stomach - there was the pain from the past creeping up - there was remembering of what I have been through and what I had survived.

I told myself that my past was not that bad, I never did drugs or anything really bad so what's the big deal.

By society's standards my past 20 years has been almost normal - a little partying, a baby born out of wedlock, a broken marriage, unmarried sex, and a couple of bad words here and there - in fact when talking to friends about what I survived - I sounded like one of the lucky ones.

However, deep inside I hurt like someone had punched me so hard that I completely stopped breathing.   I would lay in bed at night and have flashbacks of those horrible brokenhearted nights - the memories of my world falling apart, the nights I sat curled up in my daughter's closet holding my sweet daughter crying out for God to have mercy on me - even though My life was full of sin.  I would walk through the store and see someone that knew my story or part of my story and feel their eyes looking through my soul.  I was in PAIN - the pain that only God could take away.

Then one Sunday morning I arrived at church unprepared - UNPREPARED what God was getting ready to throw at me.

Our Pastor stood on the stage looked straight at me and said something about we are going to talk facts today......I may have squirmed, I may have moved a bit in my chair, but no matter what I did I was drawn in.

His message was all about being baptized - there was no escaping now - I was here to listen. 

Follow this link and listen to the 5/15/16 Sermon titled Salvation.  

I sat there, absorbed, absorbed, and went home KNOWING what had to be done!  

I fought all night that night with the idea that "I was baptized, but I was sprinkled" - then there was this small little lingering that I was sprinkled not immersed in the water - not to mention all the crazy things that I had done over the past 20 years.

There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ  - 1 Peter 3:21

and...

Romans 6:3-11

Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was
Our After Baptism Selfie - 2 believers!




crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

The next day.....I messaged our Pastor and told him this:

So this is kind of embarrassing but something that's been eating at me for a while - yesterday was kind of a pushing point. I may have told you in our marriage counseling - I was baptized as a child, and only vaguely remember it. I know I was sprinkled and always thought that was okay, but now I don't think so..I also know that over the past 20 years, I was always a believer but not a follower....
So I am curious about getting re-baptized?

Days later - I walked myself down into the baptismal pool and made my declaration and was immersed into the water.  
While I have heard people come up shouting - I came up feeling peace. Peace that the past is gone, I buried the last 20 years, and know that God is in control of my life - and I work for him.




Saturday, May 21, 2016

Negative Comments...how to deal with them.

I often openly talk about the good God does in my life and the places he has brought me from. 

Not all my days are painted with sunshine and gleaming lights - there are days that I struggle. 


My biggest struggle is overcoming those who want to hurt me or get pleasure from hurting me. 

I know I don't deserve the grace and love that God has given me - but he loves me unconditionally - so why can't you accept me and accept that I AM A CHRISTIAN also.  

This week as I receiving what should have been a warm congratulations - it ended with "I hope this one works for you" - how do you even respond to that???

I first stood in awe that someone who I have always admired would have the cold bitterness to say such horrible thing to me.

I then wanted to defend my relationship - wanted to brag how amazing he is.

Last, I wanted to remind this overly kind (insert sarcasm) what really happened in the past. 

Instead, I managed to say "oh I am not worried about that" and walked off. 

I read this today:

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”  Ephesians 2:10 NLT

So to some my life might look like a failure, but I have to remind myself that those people are not my maker and most certainly not my GOD. 

They don't have the ability to love me unconditionally (even if they say they do), they don't have the ability to not judge me, and they can't see this great big plan God has planned for me. 

For those people that can't seem to bite their tongue or always want to take a jab at you - here is the simple answer.

Proverbs 15 

"A gentle answer turns away wrath,
 but a harsh word stirs up anger.

The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge,
 but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.

The eyes of the Lord are everywhere,
    keeping watch on the wicked and the good.

The soothing tongue is a tree of life,
but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.

A fool spurns a parent’s discipline,
but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.

The house of the righteous contains great treasure,
 but the income of the wicked brings ruin.

The lips of the wise spread knowledge,
    but the hearts of fools are not upright.

The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked,
 but the prayer of the upright pleases him.

The Lord detests the way of the wicked,
    but he loves those who pursue righteousness.

Stern discipline awaits anyone who leaves the path; 
the one who hates correction will die.

Death and Destruction[a] lie open before the Lord—
how much more do human hearts!

Mockers resent correction,
 so they avoid the wise.

A happy heart makes the face cheerful,
    but heartache crushes the spirit.

The discerning heart seeks knowledge,
    but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.

All the days of the oppressed are wretched,
 but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.

Better a little with the fear of the Lord
    than great wealth with turmoil.

Better a small serving of vegetables with love
 than a fattened calf with hatred.

A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict,
 but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.

The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns,
    but the path of the upright is a highway.

A wise son brings joy to his father,
    but a foolish man despises his mother.

Folly brings joy to one who has no sense,
    but whoever has understanding keeps a straight course.

Plans fail for lack of counsel,
 but with many advisers they succeed.

A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
    and how good is a timely word!

The path of life leads upward for the prudent
    to keep them from going down to the realm of the dead.

The Lord tears down the house of the proud,
    but he sets the widow’s boundary stones in place.

The Lord detests the thoughts of the wicked,
 but gracious words are pure in his sight.

The greedy bring ruin to their households,
 but the one who hates bribes will live.

The heart of the righteous weighs its answers,
 but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.

The Lord is far from the wicked,
 but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart,
 and good news gives health to the bones.

Whoever heeds life-giving correction
    will be at home among the wise.

Those who disregard discipline despise themselves,
    but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.

Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord,
    and humility comes before honor."


I have to remind myself of that often!  

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Cape Girardeau Air Festival

So I am a little late at posting these - but still wanted to share.   The 2016 Cape Girardeau Air Festivalwas amazing - Good Job City of Cape Girardeau and all the sponsors.

This is an annual event, this year it was free (I can't remember if it was previously).  The best thing about the air show is you are right there - the jumpers, pilots, and crews are willing to meet the audience  - we love that!





Canadian SkyHawks